March 19, Thimphu: To discuss the project progress for past years, 15-16 work plan and budget; sub-project proposals and issues, the third project steering committee (PSC) meeting for the Remote Rural Communities Development Project (RRCDP) was held.
The meeting was chaired by the Hon’ble Agriculture Secretary, Dasho Tenzin Dhendup. Representative from the budget along with the Ministry’s senior officials were also present.
Presenting the progress, the Project Director (PD), Mr. Kuenga Namgay highlighted the construction of five farm roads in the process, completion of eight irrigation rehabilitations and rest in the pipeline. As the rural infrastructure and irrigation are the main project components, the floor pointed out the poor progress in both areas. They felt the need to negotiate with the stakeholders for immediate implementation to achieve better results.
The progress further highlighted the successful implementation of twenty nine community’s sub-projects in 27 chiwogs of Samtse and Chukha. For livestock sector, the project supplied the milking cows, poultry birds, materials for shed construction, labour easing and hygienic processing equipments among others. In forestry, the project has carried out the nursery establishment, plantations of cane, bamboo, broom grass and high value timber; and trained community forest management group (CFMG) members. In addition, the project supported the 100 acres of citrus rehabilitations, construction of insect-proof citrus seedling propagation house, procurement of a real time PCR for detection of citrus HLB pathogen and other agriculture equipment.
The issues in terms of capacity development, up-scaling livelihood support, slow progress under rural infrastructure due to shortage of engineers and pullet rearing firms were also discussed along with the 19 sub-projects identified.
The PD informed that the World Bank team is expected to be in the country in October for project mid-term review. On this, Dasho Secretary shared that certain understanding needs to be put up with the team considering the field issues.
The meeting also highlighted the 15-16 project activities such as farm roads, irrigation, water storage structure, training and formation of water user groups, community forest management and non-wood forest products groups for which Nu. 175.62 have been allocated.
RRCDP covers 26 geogs in Samtse, Chukha, Haa, Trongsa, Dagana and Wangdue, the remotest rural areas in the country and aims to increase agricultural productivity enhancing rural infrastructure, market, irrigation among others.
Tshering Doma with photo by Choidup Zangpo, ICS
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